Heads to roll at debt-ridden Zinara

zinara-motoristsGarikai Mazara Herald Reporter
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has embarked on a major staff shake-up which workers allege is a purge of staff to cover up for years of financial impropriety. Zinara allegedly owes its creditors a cumulative debt of US$40 million as of November last year.

The parastatal, which collects in excess of US$5,5 million per month from 26 tollgates, owes among its debtors – the Development Bank of South Africa (US$12,8 million), NMB (US$8,5 million), the Department of Roads (US$5 million) and Cimas an unspecified amount in arrears for employees’ medical aid cover.


It also collects around US$130 million annually from road access fees, vehicle licensing, transit fees, and fuel levy, among other revenue streams.

Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Dr Obert Mpofu yesterday said he is still to be briefed on the issue.

“I have not been given an update on the matter as I was not in office. I will be in office tomorrow (today). You can contact board chair Mr Mugabe (Albert) as these matters are under his jurisdiction,” he said.

Efforts to contact Mr Mugabe were however fruitless as his phone was not reachable.

The staff shake-up, which has raised a stink among senior management, has already claimed the scalp of Mr Thomas Mutizhe, who was the financial director, with more dismissals expected in the coming weeks.

Although Mr Mutizhe was handed a letter of suspension on November 27 last year with promises of a disciplinary hearing coming “in due course”, no hearing has yet been conducted.

Instead, the authority has offered him an exit package, further raising questions about the grounds for his suspension.

Zinara has offered to pay off the balance on the mortgage for his house, and given him a Discovery 4 vehicle among other benefits totalling about US$400 000.

Senior management sources  within the roads authority allege that the purge is part of a cover-up of corrupt activities that have been rampant at Zinara.

Documents in possession of The Herald show that Zinara entered into a contract with Univern Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd in November 2012 for the supply of 40 graders at a cost of US$8 million. The director of administration, Mr Precious Murove, signed the contract on behalf of Univern.

Currently, Mr Murove is the acting chief executive, acting finance director and director of administration.

In the contract with Univern, former chief executive Mr Frank Chitukutuku signed on behalf of Zinara with former board members Mr Abdul Kassim and Mr Ben Kaschula appending their signatures as witnesses.

Mr Murove’s signature on the contract has raised ethical and procedural questions, further casting doubts on the authority’s corporate governance.

Questions were later raised by recipient district councils on the suitability of the graders which were said to be designed for very cold climates as they had snow ploughs.

A legal expert who spoke on condition of anonymity said under the Companies Act it was wrong for the receiver of a service to sign on behalf of the service provider.

“Not only is it illegal, it does raise a stink . . . the most crucial question being, whose interests he was serving? If someone was to raise questions of under-hand dealings, sure there are reasonable grounds to suspect so,” said the legal expert.

Mr Murove said he could not comment on the issue over the phone as he needed clearance from the acting chief executive, the board and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development before he could talk to the media.

He requested written questions, but had not responded to the emailed questions by the time of going to press.

Besides Mr Murove signing on behalf of Univern, sources in Zinara also alleged the authority had gone into the multimillion-dollar contract without seeking technical advice from relevant stakeholders like engineers and the finance department.

The Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe said they had not been consulted during the tender process and that most of the graders were lying idle because they were too expensive to service and consumed twice as much fuel as the old ones they were using.

Guruve council said it had parked its grader insisting it was too expensive to run and was not suitable for the local terrain.

Zinara’s acting chief executive, Engineer Moses Juma, recently admitted to Parliament that the graders were fitted with snow-clearing ploughs.

A list of Zinara creditors seen by this publication shows that service providers from as far back as 2012 have not been paid their dues, while others who provided services much later have been paid.

For instance, service providers who repaired the Bindura-Shamva road in 2012 are yet to be paid.

The indiscriminate manner in which the service providers have been paid has seen some withdrawing their services, a reason given for delays in the completion of the Airport Road.

In a recent Press statement the road authority blamed the onset of the rains for abandoning the project, saying roadworks would resume after the rains.

But civil engineers, who cannot be named for professional reasons, argued that if Europe which experiences almost year-round rainfalls has its roads constructed, serviced and maintained, why can’t the same be done in Zimbabwe?

Sources in Zinara allege that corruption is at the centre of delays in the completion of  road construction projects.

“This must be one of the reasons why the acting chief executive officer (Mr Juma), in connivance with some board members, wanted to have the financial director fired as quickly as possible, because there is a lot of financial impropriety that is going on,” said a source.

“For instance, Zinara’s creditors are aged, according to how long the service provider has not been paid, and they must be paid according to the age of their credit but in most instances there is always interference on who gets paid.”


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  • Matsotsi

    Garikai vagona. God be with you. Thanks for the report. Zinara is corruption at its best ende nobody so far has noticed it. Right now pa Airport Road macontractors have not been paid for months. Varikuita basa ravasiri kubhadharwa yet they buy diesel and need to pay workers. Ma contractors ndovaku finance project iyoyo yet mari ichibiwa kuZinara. Zakaipa. VaChinamasa dont ignore. Honourable Mpofu hope itai shoma.Once again thanks….

    • Judas Iscariot

      Instead of demanding transparency at ZINARA,do some audits and hold these thugs accountable for the money they were collecting,minister Mpofu rewarded these thugs by increasing our tollgate fees so they will have more resources to loot.Shame shame shame.

    • Dambaza

      Shuwa, Zinara staff ndiani asina kutengerwa imba ne mota. They give themselves loans for houses first and then look at jr members’ wages and salaries. Anyway no one will be prosecuted

  • pothole fisherman

    It was always a curiosity why Zinara would want to purchase equipment for road agencies across the whole country when there did not seem to be any demonstrated economies of scale. Sadly, the proposal for centralized procurement of water treatment chemicals is another stinker that is being brewed right before our eyes. Why would anyone want to procure everything in Harare? Is it about potentially huge contracts creating enhanced conditions for rent seeking? Please, Stop It!

  • b c

    A clean-up of this rot is long overdue. It’s not enjoyable paying US$2 each time we pass a toll gate only for the funds to be abused instead of fixing the unpleasant roads. Where abuse of funds is proven not only should heads roll but all ill-gotten wealth should be attached to recover abused funds. Offering to pay off their mortgages is not deterrent enough to would-be offenders. A thorough audit must be carried out immediately with foolproof operating procedures put in place.

  • mpengo

    Words fail to describe my anger to these corrupt thieves with no sense of morals and of foul conscience

    How are state funds so easily abused?

    We would like Mnangagwa to demonstrate his commitment to the country by personally ensuring full prosecution and NO REWARDS for such people.

    No obscene packages and expensive cars!

    Why are thieves rewarded?!!

    • Progressive Zimbabwean

      Corruption is so pervasive in our society and a lot needs to be done. I watched in dismay as a huge multi billion asset in Zvishavane called SMM was going down and people were loosing jobs and the economy was bleeding profusely yet authorities were just quiet. Government seemed to blame one Mutumwa Mawere but the people were blaming Chinamasa and the Reconstruction Act which brought in AMG Global to run “down” SMM. Likewise people have been talking of leakages at ZINARA but there has not been any significant action perhaps until now. Lets try and unpack these and not only concentrate on identifying culprits but on making these entities work. Just imagine if SMM was being run efficiently in the past 15 years and if ZINARA were accounting for every cent and putting it to good use. Where would this country be? We need to have plans and implement these plans. Somebody once said to me if we were doing all our things right with proper plans at both strategic and tactical levels we would not even be so worried about these thefts as they would be so insignificant. Controversial statement but perhaps true!

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Meanwhile due to heavy rains roads are now un-navigable due to potholes which motorists now call “maZinara“! Things fall apart in the public sector! ZIMASSET will not succeed with the level of corruption in the public sector! Wither Zimbabwe? When we go to pay our captive dues at the ZINARA HQ in Highlands ,we see the smartly dressed and well fed ZINARA staff, which is the envy of all workers in Zimbabwe. Designer suits covering smiling staff moving up and down the corridors of ZINARA money ! At the toll gates batttered vehicles dropping two or more dollars to and fro cry from the weight of the tax! Where is the collective conscience of our government? Nehanda forbid!

  • rukudzo

    Procurement is one of the areas where a lot of fiddling goes on. Hameno.

  • mahumbwe

    This is my prayer and I really mean it. Heavenly Father may 2015 be the year of exposing all corrupt people in Zimbabwe. We pray daily that things get better but the truth is all your promises are conditional. We have to live a life that pleases you before we can ask for your help. It’s in this regard that I ask you to expose all those who are keeping Zimbabwe aren’t the tail end yet we should be heads in the region are tend beyond. May the corrupt people be replaced by those you direct to offices that have a direct impact on the development of our country. We have had enough of made made suffering. May all the corrupt Zimbabweans be confronted by the truth and all be shamed.Those who deserve jail term may they find their salvation before being released. In Jesus Name we pray. AMEN

  • Karekwaivenani

    Zinara ine Internal Audit here and Loss Control departments to check on these governance issues because i think the responsible minister and board need to set up these departments and give them clear mandates to help oversee day to day dealings of this entity.

  • clicli

    was airport road initially done by zinara or it was harare city council??? i believe it was harare city council which failed on that project until it was taken over by zinara. ever since taken over by zinara there has been significant progress from what we see everyday as we use that road. they myt b on th wrong side bt lets not paint them on everything….

  • clicli

    i think there is a lot at play. this js a tip of th ice bag. its a parastatal js lyk zesa, telone, netone, zinwa, zupco, post office, gmb, nrz. we nid undstand th wae they operate and wo controls them and wo s in charge of their finances and hw they r usd and acounted 4 b4 w start blamin thoz n ofices. its the sem reason y all parastatals r nt run effectively. thez mor than wat meets th eye. i think thiz issues r mor political that anythin…

  • Chipfukuto

    Kune anonzi Moyo ku Zinara anozivikanwa nekuve nemazimari nemurwi wema luxury cars mu Harare…he must be exposed!!!

  • maita

    They spend more money on allowances. Instead of hiring locals to do jobs at toll gates they send people from outside those areas paying hefty allowances for out of station work. Staff uniforms also take a large chunk of money from toll gates but obviously this is to hide shenigan deals by the big bosses.

  • Hurungudo

    I may be wrong but won’t it pay to investigate the minister himself. He used to play hide and seek with information when he headed the Mining ministry and I see he is dodging questions the same way. Either the minister is incompetent or has skeletons in his closet. Focus must be on the Minister.

  • emily

    Minister you do not wait to be briefed as if your general conscience is telling you there is transparency. Honestly You must be hands on and act to find out what exactly is going on. His excellency clearly indicated that he wants performers and already this is a sign of incompetence. Its like sitting in the office all day while running a business on reports without knowing the situation on the ground. Please resign and give jobs to energetic competent people. Why wait for people to cover their tracks and probably loot more in the process – no one shout get anything even a bonus or car or mortgage until investigations are complete…… and please start charging $1 because statistics are showing $2 is a scam or big rip off

  • Chidanyika O.

    BINDURA SHAMVA construction is not yet through more than ten years now, repairs being referred to is not so it was partial construction which was done.We feel marginalised . All the MPs for Shamva now Shamva not are doing us a disservice. May someone help for the Bindura Shamva roads to be completed.

  • emily

    We have a new team, what are you doing about such issues. We have enough money FROM TOLL GATES to built motorways and bridges, let alone tarred roads to every corner of the country. We are waiting. As the time has come to act/perfom. That is what being trusted by a position of authority is all about. ACT NOW, THE COUNTRY AWAITS !!

  • ndini

    haazi GOCHE here?

  • Hilarious

    Cde O Mpofu please stop causing confusion, that Authority was performing very well before u came, your orders of it reporting to your office has caused mayhem there. We know that u are so intelligent, but if that intelligence is causing confusion it becomes a cause of concern. i guess if u are elevated to higher offices then the country will come to a halt to adjust to your enormous level of intelligence. Stop creating a scenario that u once created in Ministry of Mines where you run the shore on your own.

  • nhodo(Phd)

    Yeah yeah more headlines to appease watch this space no prosecutions will take place . Its just another day in Zimbabwe politics and economics.

  • uMkhonto

    Zinara buying graders with snow ploughs, he he he what a joke. Does Zimbabwe have any snow? Zinara could have avoided this embarassment by giving fund allocations to each council in Zimbabwe to manage for their needs and then request acquitals or audits for those funds from each council. This forced Harare centralised buying will never work. Look now the councils are even dis owning those snow graders.
    The solution to this mess is for Zinara to distribute the funds to all councils to utilise according to rules set by Zinara.

  • Rwatida Makuwe

    You see that is why our roads are in bad state regardless of us paying tollgates regularly hey!

    • uMkhonto

      @ Rwatida. Zimbabwe roads are in a bad state because there is lack of funds and interest / concern from the givernment. The $130million per year Zinara funds are too little to cover the whole country needs. Our roads need to be overhauled as patching them here and there will not help. Mind you $0.7million is needed per kilometre overhaul roughly. Do the maths now bearing in mind that Zimbabwe has over 10,000km of road that need emmediate attention. You will now realise that Zinara money is just peanus. The government needs to attract investors into the country and not scare them away.

      • Rwatida Makuwe

        @uMkhonto. Let income from a particular road service that road. The Harare-Beitbridge is in worst state but yet it brings more money. Why? Yes funding is too little, so why create too many positions that occupy the whole complex in Highlands? And now you hear Zinara is in a corruption scandal, money is missing, and you think we can buy the silly idea that funding is scarce. We want results, we need action. Noone seems to be in charge of the state of the roads until an accident occurs that is when they know there is a pothole. I do not mind if they can seal the potholes sooner than later, but if they take ages to do such a simple thing then, this Zinara is a nonentity. Would they welcome us delaying paying our registration fees or resisting paying toll fees just two days only. This Zinara has no manager, if the manager is there may be he is on sick leave due to some mental challenges.

  • idi amin

    Gentlemen you created a monster! ZINARA was initially setup as a FUND collect from motorists disburse to road maintenance authorities, councils etc. Then what happened? well its simple where there are tenders to be issued the are kick backs, corruption, nepotism, basically all chicanery u can think of. They moved in, and we all thought ah how noble of ZINARA taking over projects, getting loans, buying snow ploughs. oh and a few top of the range vehicles for its staff of cause not to mention useless workshops and trips abroad. Abolish ZINARA go back to how it used to be, the Ministry of Transport/Councils should collect these funds FULL STOP!
    Just imagine how rich government would be if ZINARA, PSMAS, ZIMRA were run properly by their line ministries, just imagine! Maybe we would not be taxed so much!! Look at Sweden, Netherlands, Germany!!! Why must we always be suffering, can we not get things right without stealing? Its too much!!

  • Vanoba Samare

    And you read elsewhere some analyst justifying tollgate fees increase when they’re are failing to use the earnings properly. What is wrong with this country? Surely this has nothing to do with western sanctions.

  • Vanoba Samare

    Luckily SMM is near Mnangagwa’s rural home so he should act to get the once mighty employer back on it’s feet when the right time comes. Viva Ngwena

  • Gerimo_Ek

    The rolling of heads of small fish does not clean a dirty organisation like ZINARA.

  • Mushabi wekwaRunde

    Dear Editor,

    I bought a very old car for my mother and it has not been running for 5 years. After I had purchased a new engine and done the gearbox, I was told today that I have to go back to CVR for new number plates even if I never used the new ones I put there 2009. I was told that government on two occasions last year extended deadlines for all unregistered vehicles to be registered with ZINARA. But where on earth would one get in my case$375 to register a car that is not on the road when Im failing to fix the car? Plus most of us own several vehicles such that practically speaking, I do not need the broken down vehicles unless i have to give it away as a gift. There are two other vehicles that my father left with us and a motorcycle that are rarely used and hence were not paying any ZINARA licences. So is government trying to squeeze money from ‘treasures’ my father left for us in his estate? We may not need these vehicles but there are there for remembrance purposes.
    Can you help us get clearer government policy as those vehicles that have not been on the road and licensed are really non-runners.

  • Cde Chaminuka Njelele!

    Let me be just controversial! God greated sinners so that he can send his son to be crucified to save the sinners. God created and is alllowing the devil to run supreme in the minds of the sinnful and corrupt! Now we have to pray against such creation. Perhaps God the Mighty can just use his power to eliminate all evil on this earth! Why wait when the majority of people in the vworld are suffering! Why doesnt God eliminate the devil who inspires the corrupt???? God can just remove evil among his creation! Isnt that too sweet to done by our loving God ! I pray ! AMEN!

  • Cash Talk

    There is a sinister agenda and motive to soil and mudsling names of Zinara remaining top brass after the exit of Frank Chitukutuku and Thomas Mutizhe. Why these issues are coming out now as if they happened yesterday esp after Mutizhe was fired. I see an evil hand from this disgruntled guy portrayed by the “I WONT SINK ALONE” strategy. Garikayi Mazara how much were you paid to write and report on this smear campaign hogwash…

  • Ndodana Moyo

    the attorney general needs to investigate this scandal, what happened here is that the board members of zinara robbed the institution of its funds. they created a phone company they own and offered it tender. Follow the Money you will see.

  • Fatha

    Apa Caterpillar has been in the same place for donkey years in msasa and can supply and maintain the correct equipment…and who pays $200,000 per grader. Buy a 4×4 tractor and road scraper/grader attachment, trailer and backhoe for less than that and they can do far much more for their districts than a grader would ever do.

  • Mimi

    Another Mugabe at the helm of ZINARA here vakomana. This is catastrophic. Obviously his phone is not reachable because he has no defense.

  • Shamva


  • Runesu Shumba

    This is what we get when we elect leaders who are mathematically illiterate, who in turn surround themselves with their own kith and kin and take the country’s resources as their own. This is the end of this story, otherwise had it emanated from other newsrooms other than the Herald a search/seizure warrant would have been issued by our own useful courts prior to publication. If I were in charge at this parastatal and decided to reap where I did not sow, I would first of all do some repair work on at least three quarters of the country’s roads before appealing to my thieving appetite. Not to do anything at all raises a very big stink. The people concerned in this fiasco are Engineers and the Minister himself has got a Doctorate, very learned people indeed by any standards, which brings to question whether education was given to wrong individuals.